In late 2013, Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google, announced that Google was now using website speed as a ranking factor. That, plus increasing amounts of new data that visitors want your website and they want it NOW, means that speed is an incredibly important factor in any part of website design. Just how important? While that does depend on your website and what you’re doing with it, the following covers the basics. If you’re planning on making your website faster, try talking with your Seattle website designer about whether or not that’s possible and what changes have to be made.
Studies show that around 40% of people will click the back button in their browser if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load. That means that your site should be under that cutoff. An additional study showed that every second of load time decreases your conversion rate by around 7%. So essentially, the longer your website takes to load, the fewer sales you are making. Google recommends that your load time be no more than 1.5 seconds, although you could definitely benefit from having faster load time.
Speed is More Important on Mobile
While Matt Cutts has specifically said that Google does not use a faster speed ranking factor for mobile than computers, it is true that mobile users expect websites to load faster. The majority of mobile users are looking for something to purchase rather than research, which means that they are often impatient, and on the go. In addition, some 60% of consumers who are using mobile devices for research make purchases within an hour, which means that optimizing your website for mobile speed could very well increase your sales.
Google’s guidelines suggest that a page should load in 1 second or less, which is a far cry from the average 7 seconds or more found on most mobile web pages. Why is optimizing for mobile speed important? Mobile traffic grew by 124% in 2013, as opposed to just a 12% rise in desktop and laptop traffic. There are plenty of ways to speed up and make your mobile website more search friendly, and your Seattle web design company can help you with all of them.
Improving Load Time
Unfortunately, there are a number of very complex issues that affect load time and unless you are a web developer you may need help. The basics to increasing website speed include the following:
- Reduce HTTP Requests
- Use a Simple Layout
- Combine Scripts & Style Sheets
- Minimize or Don’t Use Flash or Video Content
- Use Caching & Content Delivery Networks
- Minimize the use of Rich Media & Plugins
Your website hosting, servers, location, and bandwidth all affect your website speed as well, so you do want to make sure that your hosting is up to the task. If all of your visitors are coming from Seattle, you also want to make sure that you are hosted locally to improve load times.
Want to know more about how your web speed affects traffic, SEO, and sales? Contact us at RoryMartin.com to find out what we can do for you.